Whilst we have managed to provide continued meaningful creative exchanges through weekly Zoom classes, maintaining independence, equal agency and small group work has been a real challenge. We have tried hard to keep the quality and person-centred approach, getting creative with props, breakout rooms and playlists. A carer from our Parkinson’s group raises some additional points:
“Quite a lot is lost – there is a lack of real mobility – in the hall you are dancing and walking around but in the living room we are limited to 2 or 3 square metres. You can’t work in pairs but other bits of it translate quite well. But that person to person work doesn’t translate as well. In the hall Gemma would single individuals out if they are having difficulties or needed help but clearly that doesn’t work with 20 people in the video compared to a dozen in the hall – you can’t have those 1-1 conversations and something like break out rooms would be too disruptive.”
However online practice is here to stay and we will be moving forward with a blended offer. Dancing at home is a great plan B for some of our participants who struggle to leave the house on some days. Online platforms will keep developing and will in time lend themselves better to creative dance workshops. In the meantime we are committed to research around online practice and will continue to keep pushing the boundaries of what Zoom currently offers.
Gemma, SLiDE Artistic Director